Letters to certify specific learned skills

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When international students apply for permanent residency (a “green card”), they may need a letter to verify that they have learned specific skills at Penn. – for instance, if they were an international student and are now applying for permanent residency. If you need such a letter, please identify the course(s) where you learned the skill(s) that you need certified, and contact the instructor(s) directly. This is a common request, and your former instructor will know what to do.

If you send your request elsewhere (e.g., to the undergraduate chair or to RAS, they won’t be able to help because they don’t know the specifics of each course as it is taught each semester.

Students applying for permanent residency often work with a law firm, and the law firm often provides a template for the instructor to sign. Please do feel free to send this template along with your request, but don’t be surprised if the instructor changes it or insists on writing their own letter. Some templates contain facts that your instructor can’t verify (e.g., see how to get a letter certifying which degree you received), and sometimes the lawyers don’t pay particularly close attention to what was actually covered in the class.